Global Security Forum to Bring Leading Diplomats, Experts to Connecticut

Global security is rarely a simple subject.  But one can reasonably argue that it hasn’t been as contentious and controversial a topic as it is in 2019 for quite some time.  Next month, that conversation arrives in Hartford, with a strong contingent of leaders on the world stage prepared to share their expertise and views on future prospects.

The World Affairs Council of Connecticut is gathering current and former ambassadors to and of the United States, military Generals, world-renowned scholars, and active agents to participate in the 2019 Global Security Forum. The day-long event will be held on Saturday, September 28, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, at Goodwin College in East Hartford. 


Among the stand-out participants will be keynote speaker John Allen, president of the Brookings Institution. Allen is a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. During his nearly four-decade military career, Allen served in a variety of command and staff positions in the Marine Corps and the Joint Force, and served in two senior diplomatic roles following his retirement from the Marine Corps.

H.E. Roya Rahmani, the first woman ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States of America, and Fareed Yasseen, Iraq’s ambassador to the United States, since November 2016, are also speaking at the Global Security Forum, as is Lieutenant General Michael Moeller (Ret.), vice president of Business Development for Pratt & Whitney’s Military Engines division, where he is responsible for engaging with governments and industries from around the world to secure new international and domestic business for Military Engines’ products and services. He joined Pratt & Whitney in 2015 after serving for 34 years in the United States Air Force, including as Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs.


Participants will also include Farah Pandith, a foreign policy specialist who was the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities, serving both Secretaries Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.  She has also served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council, chairing its task force on countering violent extremism and served in the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

The Global Security Forum will also include the insights of David Sanger, the chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times, who has been covering foreign policy, globalization, nuclear proliferation, and the presidency for three decades.

In its third year, the World Affairs Council of Connecticut’s Global Security Forum has convened some of the most influential leaders and thinkers in global security. “From cybersecurity to nuclear arms racing, these experts bring their on-the-ground leadership experience and unparalleled analysis to bear on some of the most pressing global issues of our time,” according to organizers.

Next month’s roster of speakers includes individuals now working in Connecticut, and those who have had posts around the world. 

Brian C. Turner, who assumed leadership of the FBI’s New Haven Division in September 2018, is also among the speakers. Prior to this assignment, he served as a Section Chief in the International Operations Division (IOD), and was previously assigned to the FBI Counterterrorism Division’s (CTD) Fly Team.


Retired Ambassador Christopher Hill, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Poland and Macedonia during his diplomatic career, and Bonnie Jenkins, Founder and Executive Director of the Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation, who previously worked at the  U.S. Department of State (DOS) where she served as Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation are also among the participants in Hartford.

The program also includes Luke Knittig, senior director of communications for the McCain Institute and Lori Esposito Murray, adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.